Hey, sometimes you don’t see the fine print “refrigerate after opening” on the jar’s label. Or, you grew up with the peanut butter in the pantry and never thought anything of it. But we’re adults now, and we can be smarter about how we store things.
If you keep these common ingredients refrigerated or frozen, you’ll cut down on food waste and keep these kitchen staples fresher longer — especially if you’re buying in bulk.
The natural oils in nuts can turn rancid when exposed to warm temperatures, giving them an unpleasantly stale taste. And when exposed to moisture, nuts can harbor unsafe bacteria as well. Store them in the freezer in an airtight container for up to a year. This goes for tree nuts, peanuts and seeds like pine nuts too.
2. Maple syrup
If you’re buying pure maple syrup and not one of those sugary “pancake syrup” blends, do yourself a favor and keep it in the fridge. The cold temperatures inhibit mold growth and keep the flavor fresh.
3. Cold-pressed oils
To prolong the shelf life of oils labeled “cold-pressed,” keep them in the refrigerator. Because of the low-heat method used to extract the oil, they may spoil at warm temperatures. Also, be mindful of garlic-infused olive oil; it can develop dangerous botulism when stored at room temperature.
4. Cured meats
Sealed cured meats may be displayed at the supermarket at room temperature, but once opened, they should go straight into the fridge. Wrap leftovers tightly in plastic to keep air away from the meat, and store in the cheese drawer or another spot away from light.